Former US president George W Bush warns against isolationism
Even though he too was the chief executive from the same Republican Party, former American president George W Bush on Thursday, May 10, contradicted President Donald Trump's "America First" rhetoric while expressing his own foreign policy viewpoint.
He was speaking at an awards ceremony hosted by Atlantic Council - a foreign policy think tank which conferred him an international leadership award for his work towards eradication of AIDS in Africa.
Bush, 71, started the Presidential Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief during his tenure at the White House between 2001 and 2009 and continued to work for it even after his term ended and saw his plan save millions of lives across the African continent marking a significant milestone in the fight against AIDS crisis in the world.
Bush, who also saw the US's involvement in two of the most critical war situations in Afghanistan and Iraq during his rule, spoke on foreign policy in the wake of Trump's decision to pull out of the nuclear deal with Iran which has left the entire world shocked.
The remarks of Bush also came in the context of a series of efforts that Trump has made to get the US rid of various key international agreements and also promote protectionism - both economically and geographically - to implement is "America First" policy.
Invoking a speech from former British prime minister Winston Churchill, Bush said the US is "indispensable" for the world and said it could not aspire to become a leader without involving itself in global problems. He said it is very important to stay together and not divided for division only leads to failure.
He said the dangers of isolation loom and the price of greatness is responsibilities. Bush was clearly making a case for his HIV programme which took on a global problem as against the inward-looking stance that the US has taken during the Trump presidency.
Bush recently lost his mother Barbara Bush, a former first lady. He thanked the people for their support for the bereaved family which produced two American presidents.
His father, George H W Bush, who was the 41st incumbent of the White House between 1989 and 1993, is ailing and recently had over a week-long visit to the hospital with a blood infection after the passing away of his wife.